Investing

Six Highly Unusual Analyst Calls (GRPN, HUN, RMBS, RF, STJ, PAY)

Each and every morning 24/7 Wall St. covers the daily analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations seen from Wall Street research and brokerage firms.  It turns out that some analyst calls do make very large moves in the underlying stocks.  We then look at these again mid-day to see which are on the move as a result of the calls.  These become the Unusual Analyst Calls of the Day.

Monday’s six unusual calls were seen in shares of Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN), Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS), Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF), St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ), and VeriFone Systems, Inc (NYSE: PAY).  We have shown the calls and added in some color on each.

Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) rarely gets talked about positively.  Still, Morgan Stanley thinks that it has a lead over daily-deals sites elsewhere and it raised the rating to Buy with an $18 price target.  Apparently Wall Street believes the firm’s call because shares are up 11.2% at $11.19 on more than 7 million shares.

Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) might have slid anyway since no buyout came after last week’s buyout rumors.  Apparently KeyBanc Capital Markets thinks that the low P/E will remain low or that no buyout will resurface here. Shares are down 3.3% at $12.61 on the day on more than 2 million shares.

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS) rallied strong last week on patent hopes.  J>P. Morgan thinks that the notion is not really the right move as shares went from $.50 to above $6.00 in recent days.  The firm cut the rating to Neutral from Overweight and Rambus shares are down 6.8% at $5.675 on about 1.5 million shares (150% of normal volume).

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) must be continuing to improve its books as the company has signaled. Last week it was Goldman Sachs raising the rating to Buy and today it is Evercore Partners raising the rating to Overweight from Equal-weight.

St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ) is up on a mixed day after Lazard Capital said last week’s drop of almost 10% was just too much.  The firm raised the rating to Buy from Neutral and this stock is up 2.9% at $36.60.  What is interesting is that the volume is light at 1.8 million shares, which may imply that there is a seller exhaustion after last-week’s big drop.

VeriFone Systems, Inc (NYSE: PAY) has turned around its operations but its shares have lost more than 40% from their highs as valuations caught up.  Apparently enough is enough because UBS raised the rating to Buy from Neutral and this stock is up some 6.1% at $32.31 on the day with only 2.2 million shares having traded hands so far.

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JON C. OGG

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